Book II 1960-1970
It didn’t help that Martha had always had a microscope up Eunice’s ass growing up! As soon as she’d get in the door Martha’s questions would start, “How was class? Where did you get that blouse? How much was it?
It gave Eunice a good reason to back off and keep personal things to herself, “My day was great mother. Pretty much like every other day,” Eunice answered with a snotty attitude.
Looking back, she hadn’t intended to be so insolent to her mother and blamed it on teenage trials and tribulations of fitting in at high school.
“You don’t need take that tone with me!” Martha said.
Eunice rolled her eyes. The dynamic was awkward and she was convinced Martha watched and waited for her to mess up. She could always find fault with her. Why was she suspicious of her own daughter?
Eventually Eunice clued in her mother might have been lonely cooped up all day so she would try and get her telling stories to allow her to focus on something else.
“How did you meet Daddy anyway?” Eunice asked.
“Good question. I don’t know what I was thinking,” she laughed. “Ever since I was ten years old I had colored friends. Montreal was more multi-cultural than other places in Canada. I guess the French language attracted immigrants. I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend until I was sixteen and when I did, I made damn sure he was white on account of my father’s attitude toward colored immigrants stealing jobs. I stand corrected, my mother only saw me with white boyfriends,” Martha said.
“Where did you and Daddy get married?” Eunice asked.
“The Macedonia Church. It was in the Spanish area in East Harlem. You would have adored it Eunice. Mixed marriages weren’t such a big deal there. I had to let go of worrying about my family in Montreal and embrace my risqué marriage. It was the flower power 1960s after all. My big romantic notion was to marry Curtis and get a secretarial job until we had a family of our own. Nobody’s life turns out how they plan it though. Have I ever told you I had several miscarriages?” Martha said.
“Yes of course mother. It’s so sad,” Eunice said. She never asked directly about those stories as they sometimes set her off for days. Mother had two maybe even three miscarriages.
“It is sad. Thank God you came along. Even more cherished than you can imagine,” Martha said.
Eunice’s annoyance melted away upon seeing her mother turn into an enigmatic storyteller. Her mood switched from bitter to content right before her eyes.